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Old 01-05-2009, 10:54   #1
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Divorced - Kids - Cruising?

I can not possibly be the only divorced parent out there who wants to take the kids cruising out of the country! I have been reading tons of stories of sailing kids and know it would be a great life experience for them. But all of the stories are of "both" parents and their kids... what I mean is that the father of my children, as in, ex-husband is protesting and will not help them get passports...the first person I told this to handed me a copy of Sterling Haydens book "Wanderer"(where he takes off with his kids regardless of ex wifes approval), which is obviously not an option...
I just want to know how other divorced parents have dealt with the situation, how it worked out in the end, and what kind of compromises people have had to deal with. Thanks!!
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:14   #2
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Greetings and welcome aboard FirePitt.

When only one birth parent is travelling with a child, the safest course of action is to carry a letter of authorization from the absent parent. If you're uncertain, contact the Embassy or Consulate of the country(s) you're visiting, and ask what documentation you'll need.

The Canada Border Services Agency site says:
"If you are divorced or separated, you should carry with you copies of the legal custody agreements for your children. If you are travelling with minors and you are not their parent/guardian, you should have written permission from the parent/guardian authorizing the trip. The letter should include addresses and telephone numbers of where the parents or guardian can be reached and identify a person who can confirm that the children are not being abducted or taken against their will."
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Old 01-05-2009, 18:51   #3
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FP, as Gord says, contact the authorities in the place you will be visiting. AND. Get their reply in writing, on letterhead, so that if there is any question at the border, you can show the goons what their own government is going to stand by.

In the US, notarized documents (assuming you and ex can go to the same place at the same time) would be sufficient to "prove" things. Outside the US, they may ask for an "apostille" or other internationally recognized document--which will cost you a bit more to get.
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Old 04-05-2009, 17:35   #4
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We have a good friend who cruises out of the USA with his boys in the winter and then delivers them by boat back to their mom in the summer. If you PM me I can see if he is willing to let me share his email address and he may be able to offer some insights of how they made it work.'

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Old 27-05-2009, 13:04   #5
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I think I know what you are saying

How to be gone for any period of time when you are alternating weekends with the kids, mid-week visits, and have an ex who holds you to the usual "cannot leave the state without permission or a court order". Is that what you mean?

If so, your cruising will probably be limited to the summer vacations that the court usually divides up between the parents. If your order does not say that, try for one that gives you half of summer all at one time, not split up. That will at least give you a month or better.

HTH. I am lucky, I have sole custody.
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Old 27-05-2009, 14:22   #6
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I have custody of my two children from my first marriage. During the divorce I lowered the child support she would have to pay so she would sign travel papers right then.

Maybe you could work out something to reduce his child support in return for his approval?

My Ex ussually doesn't pay the child support now and I use that to my advantage. When ever she gets out of hand or involves the kids in something un-healthy I just contact the state attorney and let them know where she's working. Within a month or so she dissappears again.

Use the system to your advantage just make sure you have your ducks in a row and can prove it on paper.
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Old 27-05-2009, 14:35   #7
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Please do a search on "Custodial Interference". Most US states have laws related to this. The basics are you can be in LOTS of trouble if you remove kids from a state without the other parents, or courts permission, even if you have physical custody. As suggested by others, bribing your EX might get you permission.
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Old 27-05-2009, 15:45   #8
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"I just contact the state attorney and let them know where she's working. Within a month or so she dissappears again."

Works really well for me too. Thus - why I have sole custody!

"The basics are you can be in LOTS of trouble if you remove kids from a state without the other parents, or courts permission, even if you have physical custody."

It all comes down to what your court order reads. Some require permission, some just require notification.
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Old 27-05-2009, 15:56   #9
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Perhaps it's worth mentioning that the Original Poster, FirePitt, is Australian, and wants to cruise with the kids outside their country. Which country's judicial system handled the divorce is unknown, as is the question of where the proposed cruise with the children will be. Without all of these details, no one can offer anything substantive for FirePitt.

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Old 27-05-2009, 16:16   #10
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Seems like the sad thing with divorce, when there's there's still going to be an ongoing relationship that's been dictated in the divorce papers. Fact is you've still got to get along with the ex (bribing, cajoling or whatever). You've got to respect the kids relationship with the dad - hopefully that's a good one.

Goodluck!
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Old 27-05-2009, 16:24   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy View Post
Seems like the sad thing with divorce, when there's there's still going to be an ongoing relationship that's been dictated in the divorce papers. Fact is you've still got to get along with the ex (bribing, cajoling or whatever). You've got to respect the kids relationship with the dad - hopefully that's a good one.

Goodluck!

Along this line.... DON'T EVER, be-little or speak ill of the other parent in front of the kids!!!!!!!!! The kids will pick up on this and either resent you or play your and the Ex's emotions off of each other.

Sorry for the drift
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:52   #12
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appreciate your advice

thank you to everyone who has responded. though i still havent figured it out, its helpful to hear other situations...to clarify, my partner and i (i am the divorced mom) share the"firepitt"login for this question(he is the australian) and we want to take the kids cruising but their father is worried about them leaving the country (all these stories of piracy lately i guess). I have full physical custody and we share legal so i have to get his permission. Unfortunatly he is difficult to contact as he does not have a phone number and i do not know where he lives (although the children do) and he does not pay child support. At this point i will just have to wait and see what happens. my hope is that when the kids get some real stateside sailing experience they will ask their father themselves for permission, if not, they are and have always been welcome to stay with him (provided he has a phone and address)for part of the school year which would be my time to go cruising. If he can not get stable enough to have them for a semester, i guess he will have to help get them passports coz i am going! I guess we will see what happens, still hoping for a good and fair comprimise.
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:57   #13
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Again, Best of Luck

And I don't blame you for pushing ahead through the obstacles to go cruising.
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:12   #14
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If you are American, FirePitt, and the children's father is Australian, then the kids are legally citizens of both countries, regardless of where they were born. They can thus hold both Australian and US passports at the same time and either can be used in their international travels. You wouldn't need their father's permission to get them their US passports.

If you find the vessel you want, whether in the PNW or in SoCal, your first foreign travels will likely be to Canada or Mexico, but you (all of you) will now have to have passports to re-enter the US. Whether the divorce was adjudicated in the US or Australian courts, I would guess that your sole physical custody grants you the right to take the kids cruising wherever you wish. It's no different, really, than taking them with you in a motorhome and going into Mexico or Canada.

If you're sailing from the west coast of the US, you're a long way from any "piracy." I suspect your ex is just using that as an excuse to throw a wet blanket over your plans. The primary question is: Do the kids want to go cruising with you, or would they rather go spend the time with their father in Australia?

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Old 08-06-2009, 10:58   #15
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If you have a hard time contacting him, one of the standards here in the states is to post a series of ads in the paper of any community you might reasonably expect him to live in. If he fails to respond then you made a "diligent effort"

Best of luck!!
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